The most powerful Phase III Corvette built in 1969 – MOTION 482-INCH VETTE: THE BEAST FROM BALDWIN was close, but not a true Baldwin-Motion car.  It was a 600-horsepower Vette built on a brand-new Stingray from Reedman Chevrolet, supplied by purchaser David McCaughey, a returning Vietnam vet.


 After serving a couple of tours in Vietnam in 1968, McCaughey returned home to Southampton, PA and gave serious thought to buying the car he had been dreaming about for the past year – a super-performance big-block Corvette.  He had read about Phase III Corvettes in auto magazines and Baldwin-Motion catalogs while in Vietnam and wanted a Joel Rosen-built, Motion-powered Phase III Corvette.  Had he not found a great deal on a new one in stock at nearby Reedman Chevrolet in Langhorne, he would have ordered the Corvette from Baldwin Chevrolet.  On March 14, 1969 McCaughey took delivery of a Fathom Green coupe powered by the venerable tri-power 427/435.  After getting a temporary tag at Reedman, he drove just over 100 miles to Motion Performance to meet Joel Rosen!

McCaughey set the performance parameters for his new ride:  10-second track times, comfortable 120-mph cruise speeds and 160 mph top end.  Rosen came up with the formula for creating his  most powerful street Corvette ever, and turned McCaughey’s vision into reality.  To deliver this level of performance, Rosen recommended a special-order, bored and stroked 482-inch ZL/X Elephant motor.  McCaughey signed on the dotted line!

The original engine was replaced with a blueprinted and balanced 600-horsepower big-block.  Displacing 482 cubic inches, it featured open-chamber ZL/Xiron heads, forged steel ¼-inch stroker crank, forged 12.5-to-l pistons, Holley 850-cfm four-barrel, Edelbrock TM2R intake, .600-inch lift cam, solid lifters, Accel dual-point, tach-drive distributor, Mallory electronic shutoff, Super Pumper electric fuel pump, L88 Corvette alternator, deep-grooved pulleys, tuned headers and chromed outside exhausts.

A lot of work went into the drivetrain and chassis as part of the Phase III conversion.  The four-speed was fitted with a Hurst shifter and a SEMA-approved clutch/flywheel assembly and scattershield were added.  Factory 4.11 Posi gears were removed and the rear fitted with a special 5.13 assembly.  Chassis modifications included Super-Bite suspension with traction bar and Koni and Cure-Ride shocks.

MOTION 482-INCH VETTE: THE BEAST FROM BALDWINTwo Motion Corvettes, a 600-horsepower Phase III Corvette and a Manta Ray, line up for a run at the 2004 Supercar Reunion. (Photo: Jeff Murphy)

Not in a position to buy a second car, McCaughey wanted the best of both worlds – the ability to race his 600-horsepower Corvette and drive it daily.  Rosen was able to pull it all together by installing a Hone overdrive auxiliary transmission.  When engaged, the Hone OD effectively reduced the 5.13 final drive ratio by 30 percent to 3.60-to-l.  This allowed McCaughey to comfortably cruise around 120 mph and see 160 mph on the Interstate.“I drove it on the streets in Southampton.  The fastest I remember driving was 160 mph, pegging the speedometer,” wrote McCaughey in a letter dated June 2, 2003.

In 1973 McCaughey blew the Corvette’s clutch and had it towed to his garage.  And that’s where it stayed, blown clutch and all, until being sold 21 years later to Anthony Marchino. When Marchino titled the Corvette on August 17, 1994, the odometer showed 14,800 miles.  Mark Rusden of Huntingdon Valley, PA, purchased it in December 2002 and the title transfer shows 14,893 miles.  When the Phase III Corvette was photographed at the Supercar Reunion its odometer showed 14,927 miles.  “I put most of those 34 miles on a quarter-a-mile at a time,” said Rusden!

What makes this Phase III Corvette truly unique is that its 482-inch Motion engine and drive train were built for racing – yet they have survived.  The body and interior have never been restored!  The gas tank sticker is still in place and original emission stickers and crayon markings are still on the firewall. Rear body mounts and bushings still have traces of original assembly masking tape.  In addition to being documented by Joel Rosen as a genuine Motion Phase III Corvette, there is a complete paper trail dating back to pre-delivery paperwork from Reedman.

In August 2005, the Motion Phase III Corvette changed hands yet again. It crossed the block at the RM Monterey Sports & Classic Auction, bringing $198,000.  It became part of John O’Quinn’s huge collection in Houston, TX where it was surrounded by hundreds of rare classics and exotics. Since then, it changed hands a number of times and is once again up for auction on Bring A Trailer.

Motion and Baldwin-Motion Corvettes are featured in MOTION PERFORMANCE, Tales Of A Muscle Car Builder, available @

Check out Hagerty’s Brandan Gillogly story on the MOTION 482-INCH VETTE: THE BEAST FROM BALDWIN @

Follow MOTION 482-INCH VETTE: THE BEAST FROM BALDWIN (Motion Phase III Corvette) auction @


Musclecar Maven and Hagerty contributor Scott Oldham blogs about 15 facts you might not know about PONTIAC GTO: AMERICA’S ORIGINAL MUSCLE CAR.


In the early spring of 1963, during a “what if” session at GM’s Milford, Michigan, Proving Grounds, a small team of Pontiac engineers led by John Z. DeLorean realized the 389-cubic-inch V-8 from the full-size Bonneville would fit easily in the new midsize Tempest. A week later, they were doing burnouts in the first prototype, and the car widely accepted as America’s first muscle car, the ‘64 Pontiac GTO, was born. Though the marque is deceased, the model remains as popular as ever. Here’s a look back at the GTO’s many milestones during its initial 10-year production run.

To name his new creation, DeLorean – welcoming a little controversy – took the name of a Ferrari legend. Although guys on the street said GTO stood for “Gas, Tires, and Oil,” it actually means Gran Turismo Omologato, or, in English, Grand Touring Homologated. The term was owned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) sanctioning body, which dictated how many cars a manufacturer had to build for the model to be legal, or homologated, for Grand Touring competition.

“Ferrari never built enough GTOs to earn the name anyway,” wrote Car and Driver in 1964. “Just to be on the safe side, though, Pontiac built a faster one.”

PONTIAC GTO: AMERICA’S ORIGINAL MUSCLE CAROver the years, the GTO did gather quite a few nicknames. Many, including “The Tiger,” “The Great One,” and “The Humbler,” were created by Jim Wangers and his team of advertising copywriters responsible for the muscle car’s marketing. The Tiger campaign began in 1964, with The Great One appearing in 1967. The Humbler copy launched in 1970. Somewhere along the way, the guys on the street began to call GTOs “Goats.” Only it wasn’t a reference to “Greatest of All Time,” it was a play on the letters and a term of affection. By 1969, it even appeared in a corporately controversial GTO advertisement championed by DeLorean and Wangers.



The new year ushered in bigger, more powerful engines, new specialty Supercars and a plethora of Ponycars.  Buick, Pontiac and Oldsmobile muscle machines, powered by similar but different 455-inch engines, led the displacement race: 1970 GM-455: MAGNUM FORCE FROM MOTOWN.


In many ways, 1970 was the storm before the calm. The war in Southeast Asia continued casting a pall over a much-divided country and thinning the ranks of young enthusiasts. Carmakers’ racing budgets were being drastically cut and engineering resources reassigned to prepare for restrictive emissions and safety legislation. And, Ponycar sales had been plummeting and would register new lows at the end of the model year. The good news: GM finally dropped its 400-inch engine displacement limit for midsize cars.

While we were celebrating Motown’s heavy metal onslaught, 1970 GM-455: MAGNUM FORCE FROM MOTOWN, engineers were well on their way to certifying lower compression, less powerful and cleaner engines for 1971. That did not bode well for the future of performance cars. The party was winding down!

“When General Motors rescinded its edict that limited mid-size cars to 400 cubic inches, it was like uncaging a predator that sat and watched from afar as cross-town rivals offered 7.0-liter behemoths,” writes Diego Rosenberg at GM had done well with what it had, but now the corporation could exploit high-performance in more competitive terms.

1970 GM-455: MAGNUM FORCE FROM MOTOWNInterestingly, Oldsmobile, Buick, and Pontiac all marketed 455s starting in 1970, and they were engineered from different philosophies and had different trajectories through the decade. How did they compare? Rick O. Rittenberg’s America Performance V-8 Specs: 1963–1974 (full disclosure: yours truly wrote the foreword) helps us note statistical differences: Continue reading Diego Rosenberg’s Displacement Unleashed: 1970 brought several flavors of GM-455 @